Saturday 1 October 2016

Sian Blake: Sister of Eastenders star calls for boyfriend 'to be brought back to justice'

Bodies of Sian Blake and her two young children discovered in their back garden

Press Association Reporters

Published 07/01/2016 | 08:27

Undated handout file photo issued by Metropolitan Police of Arthur Simpson-Kent (left), 48, and Amon, four, the partner and son of Sian Blake, 43, as murder squad detectives continue to search for the boyfriend of the ex-EastEnders actress after three bodies were found by police looking for the performer and her two children
Undated handout file photo issued by Metropolitan Police of Arthur Simpson-Kent (left), 48, and Amon, four, the partner and son of Sian Blake, 43, as murder squad detectives continue to search for the boyfriend of the ex-EastEnders actress after three bodies were found by police looking for the performer and her two children

The sister of ex-EastEnders actress Sian Blake has called for her boyfriend Arthur Simpson-Kent to be "brought back to justice" amid fears he has fled the country.

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Her call comes after an ex-murder detective with the Metropolitan Police suggested worries about costs could have played a role in delays in the investigation into missing ex-EastEnders actress Sian Blake and her children.

The force has referred its handling of the case to the watchdog the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC), amid questions over why it took so long to escalate the missing persons inquiry into the performer's disappearance.

Murder squad detectives are still urgently looking for Ms Blake's boyfriend Arthur Simpson-Kent, who may have fled the UK after his family vanished.

Sian Blake has gone missing from Erith, Kent, with her two children
Sian Blake has gone missing from Erith, Kent, with her two children
Police search officers remain at the house in Erith, Kent, which is being searched by the police officers in relation to Sian Blake
Tributes and messages are left at the house in Erith, Kent, which is being searched by the police officers in relation to Sian Blake

Ms Blake vanished with her sons, Zachary, eight, and Amon, four, in east London on December 13.

The case was taken over by murder squad detectives on Monday, and three unidentified bodies were found the next day in the garden of the family home in Erith, Kent, that Ms Blake shared with her partner.

Former murder detective Colin Sutton said concerns over the costs of policing over the Christmas period may have been a factor in an apparent delay.

He told the Times: "There is greater pressure than ever not to waste money that may have influenced the decision making.

"It was the wrong decision and a bad decision and it's noticeable that as soon as everyone got back to work after Christmas on Monday morning that things really started happening."

The family of Ms Blake have said they "want answers" about why it took police nearly three weeks to find what are feared to be the bodies of her and her two sons.

Police search officers investigate the front garden of the house in Erith, Kent, which is being searched by the police officers in relation to Sian Blake. Gareth Fuller/PA Wire
Police search officers investigate the front garden of the house in Erith, Kent, which is being searched by the police officers in relation to Sian Blake. Gareth Fuller/PA Wire
Police search officers investigate the front garden of the house in Erith, Kent, which is being searched by the police officers in relation to Sian Blake. Gareth Fuller/PA Wire
Tributes and messages are left at the house in Erith, Kent, which is being searched by the police officers in relation to Sian Blake. Gareth Fuller/PA Wire
Police search officers investigate the front garden of the house in Erith, Kent, which is being searched by the police officers in relation to Sian Blake. Gareth Fuller/PA Wire
Tributes and messages are left at the house in Erith, Kent, which is being searched by the police officers in relation to Sian Blake. Gareth Fuller/PA Wire
Police search officers investigate the front garden of the house in Erith, Kent, which is being searched by the police officers in relation to Sian Blake. Gareth Fuller/PA Wire

One of the 43-year-old's aunts, who gave her name as Terry, has said relatives want "a full investigation".

On Wednesday the Met said: "An initial review has highlighted some potential issues regarding the handling and grading of the missing persons investigation."

Mr Simpson-Kent was interviewed by police at the family home three days after the actress went missing, before he also disappeared.

Asked about reports suggesting he has fled to Africa a Scotland Yard spokesman said: "Whether or not he is in the country is one line of inquiry."

Ms Blake had motor neurone disease - a fatal, rapidly progressing disease which affects the brain and spinal cord - and was reportedly looking "very frail" before she vanished.

She and her children were last seen in Waltham Forest, east London, and her silver-beige Renault Scenic was found in Calvert Avenue in Bethnal Green, east London, on January 3, but it is not known who parked it there.

Previously an unknown actress, Ms Blake's big break came when she was introduced as soul singer Frankie in EastEnders in June 1996 by series producer Jane Harris.

She was in the BBC soap for 56 episodes, reportedly quitting in 1997 because of hostility from viewers towards her manipulative character.

The performer, who later worked as a sign language tutor, also appeared in episodes of The Bill, Casualty, Doctors and Skins, and was the voice of Yugiri in 2015 video game Final Fantasy XIV: Heavensward.

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